Realignments and New Opportunities

June 5, 2023

Dear Division of Student Affairs,

With change comes new opportunities. 

Later today, you will receive a message from President Hartzell regarding organizational realignments in campus operations including oversight of University Housing and Dining in the Business Strategies and Operations portfolio. These modifications align with the vision in the University’s 10-year strategic plan. I have been working closely with campus leadership to ensure a smooth transition and appreciate your patience. 

Our Division is focused on the “whole student” and we remain committed to our UHD partnerships to maximize the Longhorn experience, holistically supporting our students. I want to recognize Associate Vice President Marilyn Tyus and the entire UHD team for their unwavering commitment to making sure students are at home on the Forty Acres. We have done many great things together and the work will continue as campus partners. We reimagined on-campus dining by launching Forty Acres Catering and Longhorn Hospitality. We helped the university accelerate its two-prong housing affordability strategy ¾ lowering cost and increasing supply ¾ by assisting in the acquisition and transition of Dobie Twenty21, launch of the first-ever pilot housing scholarship program and development of a new graduate housing complex. There were the unforeseen challenges we navigated together with the COVID-19 global pandemic and several unprecedented winter storms. We also expanded the Living Learning Communities and programming in the residence halls.

Now, change is breeding more opportunities with expanded possibilities for our students. I am excited that Brandon Jones and his student engagement, partnerships and programming team will remain in the Division of Student Affairs and will join the Office of the Dean of Students team. This supports the Office of the Dean of Students’ internal realignment plans placing a greater emphasis on student life that have been underway since March of this year. I’ve announced these additional changes to the overall structure of the Office of the Dean of Students this morning.

While our structure is realigning, our work and commitment to student life is not! ALL our students’ college experience begins and culminates with us. We are by their side during their entire academic journey, helping them build community, develop leadership and life skills, and learn how to effectively problem solve every step of the way. Thank you for showing up the way that you do and contributing to the University’s success. We help students make memories as they experience all the University has to offer and I am excited to see how you all will continue to prepare our students for what’s next. 


Soncia Reagins-Lilly
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students